Is 'Friends' staying on Netflix? Fans panic after spotting expiration date for sitcom

The streamer's website stated that the sitcom would be available until 1 January, 2019

Clémence Michallon
New York
Tuesday 04 December 2018 08:36
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Fans of Friends – who are currently able to watch all 10 seasons of the beloved sitcom on Netflix – are worried that their supply might get cut off after a message on the streamer's website made it look like the entire show could soon be taken down.

Netflix's homepage stated on Monday morning that Friends would be available only until 1 January, 2019, implying that all 236 episodes would disappear come the new year.

In the UK and in Ireland, Netflix tried to assuage subscribers' fears after someone asked: "Are you taking friends off Netflix???"

The service mimicked the structure followed by episode titles in Friends and wrote back: "The One Where Friends is Going Nowhere, Don't Worry."

But it's still unclear what the situation is in the US. By Monday afternoon, the expiration date was no longer visible on the streamer's website, suggesting it could have been the result of a technical glitch.

The Independent has reached out to Netflix for more information.

While Netflix US has yet to officially comment on the matter, some sources appeared to confirm that the show was here to stay.

NBC news senior editor Claire Atkinson said she had asked Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos about a possible removal, adding that Friends wouldn't be taken down in January.

Wall Street Journal media reporter Joe Flint tweeted that the date seemed to have been a mistake and that the sitcom wasn't going anywhere "yet".

Friends arrived on Netflix UK in January 2018, three years after making its debut on Netflix US.

Some such as media analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG have suggested that Friends might leave netflix as WarnerMedia, the parent company of Warner Bros, gets ready to launch its own streaming platform.

Warner Bros Television is the distribution company through which Friends is made available.

“Content like Friends is likely to disappear from Netflix in 2019 as WarnerMedia launches its own SVOD service,” Greenfield wrote in October in a note transcribed in part by Deadline.

“As more content creators launch their own SVOD services, how should investors think about the impact of losing high-profile syndicated content?”

WarnerMedia's streaming service is slated to launch in 2019.

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